There’s been some good “viral marketing” going on on campus already, but I thought it was also worth mentioning here — the NU Libraries now offer Web of Science! We’re super-excited to finally have this powerful resource available. For those who may not be familiar with this database, it’s actually a suite of citation indexes from ISI Web of Knowledge. It includes Science Citation Index Expanded, Social Sciences Citation Index, and Arts & Humanities Citation Index — so it’s not just science, despite the name. The main reason it’s so great is how easy it makes citation searching. Say you’ve found a good article from 1994 and you want to see how many articles after that date list the first article as a reference. Web of Science makes this extremely easy. Just enter the info about the 1994 article — usually author’s name and the journal title will be sufficient — and voila, you’ll get a list of subsequent articles that cite it. Then you can see what publications cite those articles, and so on, tracking a trail of citations up to the present day. Why is this useful? Well, generally speaking, the more a source is cited, the more important it is within its field. Maybe it’s important because it first introduced some major new discovery, or maybe it’s important because it makes a controversial claim that many other people want to debate. Either way, citation searching allows you to quickly see who the major players are in a given field, and how the dialog is continuing. It can be more targeted than regular keyword searching, too, since you can use the citation trail to follow the discussion of a particular topic. I urge all you researchers out there to head on over to the Library website and check out this terrific resource. Enjoy, and let us know what you think, or what tips you have for using it!